A revolutionary sponge-sealing syringe that can plug a bullet wound in 20 seconds just received the green light from the FDA, which means that it’s now good for civilian use.
As one can imagine, gunshot wounds are not an easy thing to treat and the seconds after the shot can seem like an eternity. Called the XSTAT Rapid Hemostasis System, or XSTAT 30, this sponge-filled syringe can be a life-saver.
The XSTAT 30 is not new, but so far it was approved only for military use. The new FDA approval means that civilian responders will now be able to use the revolutionary syringe as well.
In some cases, more traditional methods such as tourniquet can’t plug a gunshot wound, especially when the wound is in an area the tourniquet can’t reach, such as the armpit or the groin. This syringe works even where a tourniquet fails, as it injects small cellulose sponges with absorbent coating into gunshot wounds, plugging them in no time.
The sponges expand when they come in contact with blood, absorbing it in 20 seconds and blocking it from flowing out. While this is obviously not a permanent treatment, it’s nonetheless a game-changing solution that can help save many lives. This temporary measure can prevent gunshot victims from losing too much blood until getting to the hospital, which would notably increase their chances of survival.
According to the U.S. Army, hemorrhaging causes roughly 30 to 40 percent of civilian deaths from trauma, and 33 to 56 percent of those victims die before even making it to the hospital.
The FDA cleared the XSTAT 30 for use in adolescents and adults in the general population who are at high risk for life-threatening, immediate, and severe hemorrhagic shock and junctional wounds which can’t be compressed, when the victims cannot reach an emergency hospital in a few minutes.
The XSTAT 30 dressing is good for use for up to four hours. That time could allow for the patient to receive the necessary surgical care.
On the other hand, the FDA does not recommend using the XSTAT 30 in certain parts of the pelvis, abdomen, chest, or tissue above the collarbone. The syringe-style applicator contains 92 compressed, cellulose sponges with absorbent coating. The number of sponges necessary for the effective control of a hemorrhage may vary based on the size and depth of the wound. Up to three applicators may be used on a single patient, with each applicator being able to absorb roughly a pint of blood.